LCDR Daniel McGrath, CHC, USN
Chaplain Daniel McGrath
3rd Battalion Chaplain / 1st Regiment Chaplain
Lieutenant Daniel J. McGrath originally hails from Carroll County, Ohio, and has spent the majority of his professional life in California and Washington State. He earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees with high honors from Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio. He went on to earn a Theology Degree from St. Joseph of Arimathea Anglican Theological College, Berkeley, California. While at Theological College, he was made a deacon in the Anglican Province of Christ the King, and ordained a priest upon graduation. He served parishes in the San Francisco Bay area throughout the summer of 2002. In the fall of 2002, Lieutenant McGrath was called to Church of Our Saviour, Santa Barbara, California, where he served as Vicar for three years. During this time he earned a Doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was one of only two students to be awarded the prestigious Chancellor Fellowship. In 2005 he was called to St. Bartholomew’s Church, Redmond, Washington, serving there as Rector for four years. After seven years in parish ministry, Lieutenant McGrath received a commission in the United States Navy and entered active duty in the Navy Chaplain Corps. He joined the May 2009 class at Officer Development School, Newport Naval Station, Newport, Rhode Island, and continued on through the Naval Chaplaincy School, Newport, Rhode Island, graduating August 12, 2009.
Upon completion of Naval Chaplaincy School, Lieutenant McGrath reported to the First Marine Division (REIN), Camp Pendleton, CA, serving with the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion (3d AABn), 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment (2/5), and 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment (5/11, HIMARS BN). While with 2/5, he deployed out of Okinawa with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, a unit which played an integral role in the massive humanitarian effort known as Operation Tomodachi following the Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011. In March of 2012, Lieutenant McGrath became Command Chaplain of Destroyer Squadron Seven (COMDESRON 7). He deployed with the COMDESRON 7 staff on Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12), embarking on the San Diego based hospital ship, USNS MERCY (T-AH-19). As officer in charge (OIC) of Community Service activities and Donations for PP12, he coordinated 105 events in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Guam, and supervised 19 site OIC’s in the delivery of close to $250k worth of donations from major charities such as Project Handclasp and Latter Day Saints Charities. From February of 2013 to April of 2015, Lieutenant McGrath was Ship’s Company Chaplain aboard the USS ESSEX (LHD 2), a ship that completed an historic, $200,000,000 planned maintenance availability and began preparations for a substantial forward role. On the ESSEX, he served as division officer and acting department head for the CHAPS Department; he oversaw Protestant religious ministries, coordinated a Life Skills training series, managed community outreach projects, chaired the Human Factors Working Group, hosted a support group for Sailors in NJP, and introduced a command-wide Leadership and Ethics development program. At the Naval Academy, he ministers primarily to active duty personnel in the Waterfront Readiness department and the Naval Health Clinic. He also serves as Chapel First Lieutenant, leads the 0815 Protestant Holy Communion Service on Sundays, and provides administrative support to Memorial Affairs.
Lieutenant McGrath’s medals include the Department of Defense Medal, Global War on Terror Medal, Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the gold star in lieu of second Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He has also earned the Fleet Marine Force Qualification (FMFQO) for Naval Officers, and has twice earned the Sea Service ribbon. He has a published dissertation, and has been a featured author in numerous periodicals.